Ditching the traditional business card
“Business cards are so 2007,” says Contxts, a company that uses SMS (text messaging) to exchange business cards. There are no extra apps to download, no shaking of phones or hitting other phones with yours like a lightsaber, no, the tool uses existing text messaging systems built in to all mobile phones built in the last decade.
[ba-pullquote align=”right”]More than a professional social network, they are the way to make meaningful connections while out and about.[/ba-pullquote]The company says they are more than a professional social network, they are the way to make meaningful connections while out and about, and “with the environment in shambles do you really want to be that guy who is handing out chopped up pieces of bleached trees?”
Through text messages, you can exchange all of your professional information, sending your credentials to someone over text immediately, and it keeps your professional contacts organized.
The upside and downside
The upside of using SMS business cards is tremendous – cost savings of no longer printing business cards, you get to wow people when you meet them that all they have to do is text you and they’ll immediately get all of your credentials. Additionally, it is environmentally sensitive, and helps you stay organized, as you get their basic information in return.
[ba-pullquote align=”right”]Later on in the day, the exchange came up, and several people were extremely angry.[/ba-pullquote]The downside is that there is more to explain to a recipient than simply handing them a business card which is not at all threatening. Recently, at a networking event, we came across a young man who was using the Contxts service, and everyone was extremely impressed and enthusiastic to try it out, so after a group of ten texted in the simple code he told us to, we were pleased that we got his information immediately via text. What he failed to explain to everyone, however, is that their phones were sending him information (phone number and whatever name is on caller ID) as well. Later on in the day, the exchange came up, and several people were extremely angry, as there was no explanation that it was an exchange, rather “hey, text me, and it will send you my contact info,” and no way to unsubscribe or opt out of anything, leaving them feeling vulnerable.
That said, if users can properly explain to people that if they text a code, they will be exchanging basic information so that no trees are killed and everyone’s contact info is immediately in each others’ phones. Brilliant if done correctly.